As critical as I’ve been about DC Comics relaunch next month, in both marketing and execution, there are a number of new titles that are on my “want” list.
With all these books being available the same day as their print counterparts for $2.99 and then at $1.99 a month later, these titles featuring lesser-known characters should expand DC’s audience. They are some of DC’s most multi-cultural titles as well.
While I give DC credit for trying to expand their character and reading base in the past beyond the traditional straight white male, there have also been problems. Blue Beetle was spared cancellation several times but just couldn’t survive with the direct market sales numbers. But other characters were summarily tossed aside, like the new Atom, Ryan Choi.
The good news is that both these characters are back, it seems. Choi in the new Justice League of America and Blue Beetle in his own book.
Here’s Part One of my current wish list of the DC relaunch titles.
Blue Beetle by Tony Bedard and Ig Guara.
Beetle is in good hands. Bedard is one of DC’s most reliable writer. This appears to be a start-over button for teenage Jaime Reyes, who becomes magically bonded to an alien scarab that turns him into a hero. The scarab, however, has its problems and comes with a host of foes. The first run of this title was fantastic and one I recommend to parents whenever they ask me about good superhero books for kids. Children may also be familiar with Jamie through his many appearances on the Batman: Brave & the Bold on Cartoon Network.
The Fury of Firestorm by Gail Simone, Ethan Van Sciver, and Yildilray Cinary
The creators interviews about this titles have been intriguing. I’m a fan of Simone’s work and Sciver’s artwork but the initial idea of the two of them working on this character–never one of my favorites–didn’t do much for me. Then I started seeing preview artwork as well as reading interviews and now I’m sold. The concept has a lot of possibilities and could go anywhere: two teenagers who can share a nuclear body and become an uber-powerful being but they can also separately become Firestorm as well.
Mister Terrific by Eric Wallace and Roger Robinson.
Michael Holt was created in 1997. Though he’s over a decade old, I doubt many fans outside know who he is. That’s a shame because Holt is one of the most fascinating guys in the DC Universe, an inventor and businessman who is probably what Tony Stark could become if he had his act completely together. Television writer Wallace said in an interview that he’s thrilled to have control over the character. This one could be excellent.
Justice League Dark by Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin
All the magic heroes of the DC universe gathered together in one title and written by Milligan, who did a wonderful noir treatment of the Human Target for DC’s Vertigo line. The name is a bit dull but the cast includes John Constantine, Madam Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and Shade the Changing Man, with the focus on the dark and spooky aspects of the magic in the DC Universe. Sold.
The characters in this book may be ones you’ve never head of aside from the Demon Etrigan but writer Paul Cornell describes it as sort of a “Magnificent Seven” in the medieval age. Add to that Cornell’s wonderful work with the late lamented Excaliber title from Marvel and his high-profile as a writer of Doctor Who, and I think this book could be DC’s sleeper hit.